“I’ll take a venti, half-sweet, non-fat, caramel macchiato with extra whipped cream. Hold the caramel.”
In our consumer culture, coffee has become almost unrecognizable from its origin as a little brown bean. There are entire communities and economies relying on coffee production, and there is a rich and—sometimes violent—history behind it as well:
• Coffee is the most commonly used legal stimulant in the world
• Coffee first became popular in Arabia in the 11th century, but it is said to have actually originated in Kaffa, an Ethiopian province, in the 9th century
• The two main varieties of coffee are Arabica and Robusta
• London coffee houses are credited with being the birthplace of the Stock Exchange in the late 1600s
• Sixty-three percent of Canadians over 18 drink 2.6 cups of coffee per day, and 54 percent of Americans drink 3.1 cups per day
• Some coffee berries are processed only after being eaten--and "deposited"--by an animal
• Starbucks didn't sell coffee-based drinks until more than 15 years after its inception and at first only sold coffee beans for brewing at home.
"They took away smoking, they took away drugs and promiscuous sex, they took away eating red meat and cat-calling hot chicks on the street. All I have left is overpriced coffee, and by God, I'm going to drink it!"
- Brent Sienna, PvP webcomic character